"A phenomenal illustration of the LDS Church's pioneering efforts in film." - Deseret News
A Reel Legacy is a documentary that unveils the true story of Walt Disney's head animator Wetzel ( Judge ) O. Whitaker, who left a very lucrative career at Walt Disney Studios to come to Utah to start a film studio for the LDS Church and pioneer a film program at Brigham Young University. For the first time ever on camera, veteran filmmakers who knew and worked with Judge, sit down and talk about his life, his trials, and the challenges he faced - with no film crews or sufficient funding, to building a state-of-the-art Hollywood style studio in the 1950s. This story will transport you back in time, as we journey from the Walt Disney Studios to Provo Utah.
This special documentary features over 15 filmmakers, as well as dozens of rare and never-before-seen images, released by family members and friends. This film is a true tale of faith, toil, sacrifice, and humility, and will not only inspire the LDS (Mormon) community, but others who share Christian values and beliefs, who seek to be uplifted and inspired - as was Judge's mission as a father, husband, friend, and filmmaker.
For those looking for an authentic, real glimpse into what independent filmmaking was like back in the 1950s, this documentary offers insights into the LDS Church's untold and sensibly unique film-making history from the filmmakers point of view, and the inner workings of studio. Unlike LDS special topic documentaries or books written by historians, teachers, or professors, this documentary allows viewers to see and feel the Spirit of what really happened, from the original filmmakers who were there in the beginning, as the LDS Church grew into using film to spread the gospel of Christ and to train church leadership and members in the 1950s.